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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Balanced Diet

I really wish my children ate as healthy as I lead their pediatrician to believe.

"What's Elizabeth eating right now?"

"Oh!  Well, we eat lots of lentils, fish, steamed veggies, eggs and the occasional sweet," I laugh.  In reality, the answer would be Cheerios, with the occasional lentils, fish, steamed veggies and eggs.

"And Joseph?"

"Well, he's a picky eater," I hedge.  "We always offer him a variety of veggies," as long as they're pureed and in a sauce, "cheese," if you consider grated Parmesan a serving of dairy, "and a protein, of course."  Thank God peanut butter is a protein.  Although I don't think Dr. N would approve of a cup of it a day.

It's not that I don't try.  I buy loads of fresh fruit and veggies.  I cook, I chop, I puree, I steam, I bake, I grill.  But when I'm not home?  Cheerios and Saltines.  My husband eats like a bachelor and his children are following in his footsteps.

Every now and then, like a hoarder attempting Spring Cleaning, I clean out the fridge and pantry, throwing out unhealthy foods.  I write a list of appropriate meals for the children.  I talk to Chad about my goal of a healthier life style and, when his eyes start to glaze over at my produce pontification, I promise myself that I'll make it easier on them all; that I'll pre-cut, pre-wash, pre-proportion all meals and snacks.

And, like that hoarder trying to clean out the hall closet, I start to get overwhelmed.  I get lazy.  I stop the prep work.  The food list gets covered by doctor's notices and coupons.  I look the other way as the family has a snacking frenzy of crackers and jam.

And I pray that General Mills truly provides the children with all their daily vitamins.

And I hope that eating a whole box of cereal bars counts as a serving of fruit.

And I worry that too many Fig Newtons negatively effects little digestive tracts.

And I start to think that perhaps, perhaps now is the time to start the kids on a pediatrician approved diet.

And the cycle continues.

Mandy Dawson is a wife and mother of two living on the beautiful Central Coast of California.  While she's not tossing out old produce and replacing it with new produce that she hopes and prays will get eaten, she can be found blogging at

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